Wow. Has it really been four weeks since I’ve sat in a classroom? My calendar tells me yes, but my brain tells me no. Time really does fly when you’re having fun! But, I actually am really excited to get back to Lancaster and have some familiarity in my life for a bit. It’s just plain stressful to live out of a backpack and always be on the move.
However, my last few days of adventure ended in a wonderful place. I love Greece. I love everything about it. The food is incredible. Everything is super cheap. There’s sunshine. And warm weather. So, it has been glorious.
I got to Athens at about 9 in the morning on Tuesday. This gave me enough time to figure out the airport transfer bus, find my hostel, and get checked in. By the time I got to my hostel, I was already sweating from the 80 degree weather. My body has been stuck in rainy England for far too long, so it was shocked at the sudden change of pace. At the hostel, they had a little suggested walking path of the sites, so I plugged those into my phone and set off on my own little adventure for the day.
The first place on the map (after enjoying a delicious pita wrap) was to go to the Acropolis Hill. Normally, it’s like 20-30 euros to go here and a variety of other archaeological sites, however, because I’m a student in the European Union write now, I got to go to all of these sites for absolutely free! It was glorious.
I made a few friends along the way, as I asked a few different people to take my picture, because I’m tired of taking selfies. The site itself was so cool and from the top of the hill, you could see all around Greece. The stones were really slippery though, so make sure you wear high-traction shoes if you ever go! I may or may not have slipped and almost fell about ten times…
I spent a good amount of time wandering around and enjoying the sunshine, but I also wanted to learn more about the site, so at the end of my wandering, I went down the hill to visit the Acropolis Museum. It was really cool and it gave a lot of history behind why they built the different buildings and all of the Greek god stuff that the Ancient Greeks believed in. Next up on my tour was second lunch, so I had an amazing Greek salad at this little cafe I found near the museum.
After that, I went to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, which was included in the archaeological sites ticket.
The next part of my day was the only thing I paid for here in Athens, tour-wise and it was probably one of my favorite things I did. (Granted, it was still only 2.50 euro entry) I went to the Panathenaic Stadium, which was the first stadium to hold the Modern Olympic Games, the only stadium in the world made of marble, and the location of the largest attendance of a basketball match in world history (Over 80,000 people!) There was an audioguide included in my tour, so I learned all sorts of fun facts, but I won’t bore you with all of those. Instead, I’ll just show you the awesome pictures!
After that, I was starting to get really tired from another early morning, so I wandered back to my hostel by way of the National Gardens, and some cool shopping streets. I enjoyed Greek gyros at a little restaurant before heading back and crashing for the night.
On day two, I really was in need of the fun facts about the city, so I took a free walking tour. The guide was fabulous. We went back to many of the sites I had been the day before, but I actually got to hear the information about them. For example, we met at Hadrian’s Arch. What I didn’t know about this, is that this is the same Emperor Hadrian who also invaded England and built the Hadrian’s Wall on the border of Scotland that I visited a couple of months ago!
Then, we got to see the famous guards do their shift change, as they guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and got to take some pictures with them.
I think my favorite part about my entire experience in Athens, however, was getting to see Mars Hill (And stand on it!) It’s the place where Apostle Paul made his first speech about Christianity, and where he was presenting his case before the judges in Athens (Acts 17). It was just a wonderfully surreal experience to stand where he once stood and set the basis for the reason the story of Jesus was able to spread.
My last day in Greece was spent catching up on some homework and just kind of relaxing, as I was very anxious to get back to Lancaster by this point. And now here I am, safe and sound back at school and it’s time to start studying for exams!
Thanks again for all of the extra thoughts and prayers you’ve sent my way these past couple of weeks! I appreciate it so much!